R. McGrath, M. Greenberg, Ashley Hall-Simmonds
Jul 4, 2018
The Journal of Positive Psychology
Abstract Recent research has identified three virtues from the 24 strengths in the VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues, labeled caring, inquisitiveness, and self-control. This article explored this model further. Study 1 demonstrated substantial congruence in three-factor loadings across 12 samples (total N = 1,082,230) despite substantial differences in methodology. Study 2 (N = 1719) provided support for the use of aggregate scores for the three virtues. Study 3 (N = 498) demonstrated substantial overlap between measures of personality and the virtues. We conclude these three are potentially essential components of a theory of virtue. They cannot be considered a sufficient model, which may be unattainable. We also note that treating virtue as an individual difference concept neglects key elements of our understanding of virtue as a social construct, and these more amorphous elements must be considered in developing an optimal model of virtue.